Unleashing the Power of Partnership: The Benefits of Strong Collaboration Between Employers and Employees


By Jennifer Jacobus, PHRca, SDEA Director of HR Services

More than two years after the pandemic, we are finally done with mandatory mask requirements and the CDC and the CDPH have (fingers crossed) made their last updates on Covid protocols.  So why are employers still struggling with remote work, having employees come back to the office and hybrid work?  We’ve all seen the memes, reels and Fishbowl posts.

One of SDEA’s sister Associations participated in a panel discussion on this very topic and when the question was posed, “how do we get work done?”, the consensus was collaboration.

According to Wikipedia, collaboration is the process of two or more people, entities or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal.

Most collaboration requires leadership.  Each company, and potentially each department, needs to think about what that looks like for them and more specifically what it looks like for their leadership team.

SDEA has always encouraged our members, who are asking their employees to return to the office either 100% or hybrid, to ask themselves why they need employees back in the office.  There may be very valid reasons, reasons that should be shared with the employees when the employer gets pushback.

SDEA has found that many problems occur due to lack of communication.  Start by asking yourself what the overall goal is, what do I need each employee to accomplish and how will that be measured.  The answer to these questions should be communicated with employees.  In fact, this is a great opportunity to get the employee involved…collaborate with the employee. Most of the time, not always, but most of the time employees who are “not performing because they are working from home” have a performance issue, period.  Like any other work-related issues, this should be discussed with the employee and documented.  Three easy steps…1) what is the issue, 2) what needs to be done to correct the issue, and 3) what the consequences will be if the issue is not fixed.

SDEA is coming up on our 110th anniversary next year and we successfully transitioned to hybrid work.  We meet as a team for staff meetings and strategic planning, birthday celebrations, holidays and generally on an “as-needed-basis”.  We avoid meetings for the sake of having a meeting and have shifted our focus on collaboration.

Remember SDEA is not just here for you, we are here with you. 

If you are curious or have questions about how we work from home, tips and tricks, and how you can do it too, give us a call at 858-505-0024, info@sdeahr.org

Contact us: 858.505.0024